Georgia’s Department of Public Health suspended Elton’s Medical Center for six months from the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program, which was not yet eligible to receive it.
DPH was informed on January 26 that the medical practice had vaccinated individuals in the Albert County School District who were outside the current Phase 1A + eligible population. After an investigation, DPH says it confirmed the information and suspended the facility.
During suspension, Elberton’s Medical Center will not be eligible to receive new COVID-19 vaccine shipments, but will be allowed to use its remaining vaccine inventory for second-dose.
Five other vaccine providers in Albert County will continue to receive the vaccine, including the Albert County Health Department.
The medical center released a statement on social media on Thursday, saying, “We hope this is temporary and appealed to Georgia’s decision regarding the matter.”
Albert County Schools Superintendent John Jarvis told WXIA-TV in Atlanta that many of the district’s more than 500 employees are eager to receive the vaccine.
“It’s hard to wear a mask when you’re trying to teach students,” Jarvis said. “Vaccination for teachers, bus drivers, school nutrition workers … they should be considered in the first group, in my opinion.”
Those eligible to receive vaccination under Phase 1A + include health workers, long-term care facility workers and residents, adults over 65 and their carers, as well as first responders.
In a media statement, DPH defended its decision: “It is important that DPH maintains the highest standards for vaccine accountability to ensure all federal and state requirements and are adhered to by all parties , And the vaccine is administered efficiently and evenly. “
Some Georgia lawmakers are pushing to expand eligibility to include teachers. Georgia Congressman Caroline Bourdeaux sent one Wednesday Letter For President Joe Biden, he urged teachers and school staff to prioritize vaccination and develop federal guidelines for testing, contact tracing, masks, and more.
More than a dozen school board members from districts across metro Atlanta sent Kemp a similar Letter, A call for the state to prioritize vaccines for school employees. Kemp says he shares his concerns and people with disabilities but at the moment, there is not enough food intake To meet the demand.
This article has been updated to reflect that the Medical Center of Alberton is a medical practice, not a previously identified hospital